Career Planning

CAREER PLANNING - Information, Advice and Guidance

GCSE grading system

Compare old and new grading systems

  • A numerical grading system of 9-1 replaces the system of A*- G, with 9 as the highest achievablegrade and 1 as the lowest (although there will also be a grade U for those who fail to achieve the minimum requirements for grade 1).
  • Grade 5 will be considered a 'good pass'
  • The new system has been designed to reveal differences between candidates at the top end of the spectrum. The current top two grades (A* and A) will be replaced with three top grades (9, 8 and 7).
  • Grade 9 is being referred to by some as an A** because it will only be awarded to approximately the top 3 per cent.

Skills health check

Find out what kind of work is right for you

Become an apprentice

Overview, pay and conditions

A career in hairdressing

Hairdressing is a vibrant and exciting vocation and there are lots of career paths to choose from. Hairdressing apprentices begin by learning the basics and being part of a very important 'support crew'. This support role is crucial to the successful running of a salon.

Career progression

Opportunities for progression will vary from salon to salon but a Hair Professional Apprentice (Level 2) would usually progress onto an Advanced and Creative Hair Professional Apprenticeship (Level 3). See the ITS hairdressing progression routes map. In some salons, there are opportunities to progress to more specialised areas of hairdressing such as:

  • Cutting
  • Colouring
  • Long hair
  • Wedding hair
  • Men's hairdressing or barbering
  • African Caribbean
  • Hair extensions
  • Artistic director or team member

You could also become:

  • A colourist/technician
  • A supervisor or manager
  • A senior stylist

Other opportunities

  • Airlines and airports
  • Cruise ships
  • Franchisee for a national or international chain of salons
  • Freelancer - e.g. photographic shoots, fashion shows
  • Health clubs and spa resorts
  • Holiday parks
  • Hospitals/care homes
  • Hotels
  • Mobile hairdressing
  • Open your own salon
  • Salon management
  • Salon trainer and/or assessor
  • Teaching hairdressing
  • Technical Specialist/Trainer for a manufacturer (such as Wella, L�Oréal, Schwarzkopf, etc.)
  • Television and film industry

Create a knock-out CV

How to write a CV
5 lines that are killing your CV
What not to do on your CV
CV layout - dos and don'ts
Common grammar mistakes to avoid on your CV
CV tips from our own Partner Salons - this is what they are looking for!

Find an apprenticeship

Search the find an apprenticeship service in England

Prepare for an interview

Ultimate guide to the interview process
Top 5 interview tips

How can I calm my job interview nerves?
What does my body language tell my interviewer?
What are the most common interview questions?

Maximum weekly working hours


What could I earn?

Your earnings will depend on your experience and qualifications, the size and type of organisation that you work for and the direction you take. As a very general guide, Hairdressing Apprentices will receive the minimum wage for apprentices (see https://www.gov.uk/apprenticeships-guide/pay-and-conditions). This is set by the government and changes annually on 1st October. An experienced and qualified hairdresser could earn between £14,000 and £30,000 per year; high flyers such as the hair stylists you would see on television and in magazines will earn much more than this!

Personal Learning Record - information for apprentices and parents

The Personal Learning Record is an online compilation of a person's learning and achievement records collected by UK education bodies.

Child Benefit when your child turns 16

Child benefits for apprentices (Aviva)

Opening your own salon

You will need to seek professional advice and carry out plenty of research if you want to open your own salon.

Click on the following links for further information about starting your own salon:

Become a franchisee

This is an arrangement where one party (the franchiser) grants another party (the franchisee) the right to use its trademark or trade-name as well as certain business systems and processes, to produce and market goods or services according to certain specifications.

Click on the links below (other companies may offer franchises):
Francesco Group
Toni & Guy

Hairdressing organisations

Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Authority (HABIA)

Freelance Hairdressers' Association


The Hair Council


National Hairdressers� Federation


Hairdressing media - magazines and online

Hairdressers� Journal International

Professional Hairdresser


The Salon Magazine


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